A fan (Fan A, for clarity’s sake) contacted me and said that L.J. Smith had insulted another fan (Fan B) on the guestbook. Fan A left a message saying that she thought this was rude and checked the next day. As you’d probably suspect, this message has been deleted.
Bad form from the author, and bad form from the webmaster. I don’t exactly want to support an author who calls her fans “morons”. Sure, Fan A’s post wasn’t the most amazing, considerate thing I’ve read, but it’s not like he/she wrote “Wow. LJS sucks, and you’re all a bunch of losers!”
LJS’s “official statement”
LJS has finally made an official statement. Of course, she’s vague. If you haven’t read the emails, you may not fully grasp what she’s talking about.
But that means, officially, that Midnight is likely the last Vampire Diaries book written by LJS. The new trilogy, if it goes ahead, may still bear her name (just as “V.C. Andrews” is still on VCA books, even though she’s been dead for years), but her influence on those books will be minimal.
LJS: “I’ve been fired from writing the Vampire Diaries series”
Before I go further, I want to make VERY CLEAR that LJS has not made any official statements on her website or through Twitter or any other avenue I can find. The links below all lead to “emails”, allegedly from LJS to fans. I would like to think LJS wouldn’t lie about something of this magnitude and that fans wouldn’t make it up, but … stranger things have happened.
Links to three different emails, in which LJS claims she has been “fired” from writing further Vampire Diaries books.
New TVD book called “Phantom”?
From LJS’s latest blog entry:
“Also, I have been finished with Midnight, the final book in the last Vampire Diaries trilogy about a month ago and am waiting (you can imagine how eagerly or maybe—if you’re not an author—you can’t) for the edits. I’ve also signed on for a new trilogy and finished the first book in it, Phantom. So there is more Vampire Diaries in store for readers of those books. And yes, Strange Fate will also come out as soon as I can finish it. The problem was that the Strange Fate contract got delayed and … well, just trust me, it’s coming, even if I type my fingers off.”
I’m still unclear on her involvement with the TV tie-in books, Stefan’s Diaries. Some sites say she’s a co-author, others don’t, so she might only be being “credited” for the source material (i.e., characters, world, general concepts).
Of course, a TVD novel called Phantom makes me picture Damon in a Phantom of the Opera mask….
L.J. Smith “finished Midnight”
On her Facebook, LJS said:
I’m so happy because I finished Midnight, the third book in the “Damon’ trilogy. It’s 600 pages long, and I still need to edit it, but … whew! Feel like dancing!
What to call NotS and HoV together?
Of all LJS’s books, Night of the Solstice and Heart of Valor were the most obscure and, because of their scarcity, the least read. That meant they didn’t come up in conversation much, so they were never really given “a series title”. You can talk about The Vampire Diaries as a whole unit or world, but the duology never really got a name that stuck.
Some people (including myself) call them “the Findahl books”, as Findahl is the name for the Wild World. Some call them “the Wild World books”, for the same reason. Others call them “the Hodges-Bradley books”, as they revolve around the four children in the Hodges-Bradley family.
To be honest, I don’t think anyone really cares: we just want people to talk about these books more! *g* They consistently have the most interesting covers of LJS’s works, and are different than a lot of kidlit. Speaking only for myself, I read Heart of Valor for the first time when I was in my mid-twenties, and still thought it was an intriguing, strong novel. It takes a lot for kidlit to impress me, and I continue to love NotS and HoV.
Perhaps with these widely available reprints (now available in stores! GO BUY THEM! AND THEN GET SOME FOR YOUR FRIENDS!), NotS and HoV will be more talked about and an unofficial consensus about what to call the series will be reached. I’m actually quite surprised the publisher didn’t get LJS to come up with a series title so they could market NotS and HoV together more effectively.
New Vampire Diaries trilogy en route; Strange Fate delayed indefinitely
TheBookseller.com reports that LJS is writing a new Vampire Diaries trilogy: “The new books by L J Smith will be prequels to the original books and will be called Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries.”
LJS echoes this news on her blog and in a comment on Facebook (verbatim, except for a few typo corrections by yours truly):
That estimate shouldn’t still be up. Instead I have three more Vampire Diaries books to do (short ones) before I can finish Strange Fate. I’m honestly bewildered as to why this ancient pub date is still up. But please put yourself in my shoes, I STILL don’t have a contract with Harper for… Strange Fate and Harper offered me a new contract for the three Vampire Diaries books at terms I couldn’t refuse. Plus, Simon & Schuster had me do the Night World guide. I’m sure I’m culpable, too, but I can only write so fast. I’m so sorry to ruin your enthusiasm, but it’s better than having a rumor that gets squelched.
Long story short: After Midnight (book 3 of The Return; book 7 in the total VD canon), there will be three more VD books. Night World fans, though, go back to the Wait That Never Ends for Strange Fate.